New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Muharram, which is considered as one of the scared period in Islam, is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year during when warfare is forbidden. Muharram marks the beginning of a new year in Islam but the tenth day, the day of Ashura, is a mourning day among Muslims, especially in the Shias, because of the murder of Ḥusayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. The Muslims, mainly Shias, begin mourning of the first night of Muharram and continue it for the next days. On the tenth day, the mourning ends which is known as the “day of Ashura”. 

What is the history of Muharram?

According to Muslim legends, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Ḥusayn ibn Ali and his six-year-old son were martyred in the Battle of Karbala (Karbala is a city in modern day Iraq) on this day. It is believed that the Battle of Karbala took place on the 10th day of Muharram which is why this day is called Ashura. The enemy soldiers left Ḥusayn ibn Ali without food and water in the desert and killed them mercilessly.  

What is the significance of Muharram?

Muharram is an extremely holy month among Muslims when they mourn the death of Ḥusayn ibn Ali and his family. To honour Ḥusayn ibn Ali’s sacrifice, war is prohibited among Muslims, especially the Shias, in this month. On this tenth day of Muharram – the Ashura – the Muslims observe fast and wear black dresses. They also mourn the death of Ḥusayn ibn Ali by forming a chain and beating themselves which is known as ‘Tatbir’ or ‘Qama Zani’. However, several people just observe Muharram by chanting “Ya Hussain” or “Ya Ali”. It is noteworthy to mention that the Muharram processions will not take place this year because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma